Little Grebe

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) Bird information

little-grebe-facts-identification-habitat-nesting-breeding

Little Grebe is the smallest in the grebe family, most widespread and numerous of the grebes, found on a variety of inland waters, mostly with plentiful vegetation emerging above water.

In summer, rust-red cheeks, throat and neck with a bold yellow spot at the base of bill. In winter, dark cap
and upperparts; buffy throat, neck and flanks.

Status: widespread breeding resident; often quite numerous (semi-colonial) at favoured waters both summer and winter.

Similar Species: Litlle Grebe can be confused with Slavonian Grebe and Black-necked Grebe in winter but
short, square-cut tail distinguishes.

Bird Facts

Typeduck-like
Size25 – 29 cm (10 – 11 in)
Habitatfreshwater, estuaries
Behaviourswims, dives from surface, takes off and lands on water
Flockingcolonial; small flocks winter
Flightlaborious; direct
Voicebreif whit-whit, loud, far-carrying whinnying song

Little Grebe bird identification

Little-grebe-bird-identification

Ad.summer
Crownblack
Upperpartsblack
Rumpbrown
Tailbuff; short and rounded
Throatrust-red
Breastblack
Bellybrown
Billblack with yellow sport at base; short and stubby
Legsgreen; short
Ad.winterbrown above, buff below
Juveniledark cap, Ad.winter

Breeding

Nestfloating mound in water
Eggs4 – 6 white
Incubation19 – 25 days
Youngactive; downy
Fledging44 – 48 days
Broods2; April – July
Foodfish, insects, crustaceans
Population9000 – 18,000 pairs; 11,000+ winter

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